4 fire departments in South Dakota suffer unexpected losses

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - Four fire departments in South Dakota have recently suffered unexpected losses, leaving voids in their front lines that members say are tough to fill.

The Mitchell Daily Republic reports the Presho, Salem, Plankinton and Alpena fire departments each reported the death of one member in the past month.

South Dakota Firefighters Association President Charlie Kludt says an option for the region departments as they regroup is to look toward mentoring services to recruit.

Kludt says while the departments are working to fill the voids, members are also dealing with grief, which he says can be more difficult to overcome.

Kludt says that despite the training firefighters and other first responders receive for physical and emotional situations, there's no amount of training that can prepare a person for losing a friend.

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